Austrian police seize large weapons cache heading for German extremists

Some of the weapons seized by Austrian police, Dec. 12, 2020. (BMI-Austrian Civilian Police)

Guns, bullets, drugs, explosives, cash were on their way to right-wing extremist groups.

Police in Austria on Saturday announced they had broken up an arms smuggling gang and seized a large cache of weapons, ammunition and drugs that were heading for right-wing extremist groups in Germany.

“Thanks to meticulous investigations against several people since October 2020, the Vienna State Criminal Police Office has succeeded in striking a major blow in the field of drug and illegal arms trafficking with connections to right-wing extremist groups,” Austria’s Landespolizei Direktion (LPD) police agency said in a statement on their website.

Police said Austrian authorities had arrested five men between the ages of 21 and 53. German agencies are holding 2 persons in the same ongoing investigation that is tracing the origin of the weapons. Authorities added that the Austrian Armed Forces conducted the investigation. One of the Austrians was known to authorities for his far-right activities and being a suspect in a letter bombing campaign in Austria in the 1990s, Deutsche Welle reported.

“We have struck a massive blow against the right-wing extremist scene in Austria and organized crime, and how they cooperated,” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said at an online press conference with police officials to announce the arrests.

The weapons cache included 100 firearms, 100,000 rounds of ammunition. 24 pieces of explosives included six hand grenades, along with drugs including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and 5,820 euros in cash.

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said some of the weapons were to build up a German far-right militia. Vienna police chief Gerhard Pürstl described it as the largest seizure of weapons in decades heading for the extremist group in the southern German state of Bavaria.

“German intelligence agencies increasingly worry about the threat by far-right extremists, following an increase in political crimes and the involvement of the far-right in anti-coronavirus lockdown protests,” the DW report said.

(World Israel News).

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